The NLG-SF Board and Dinner Committee has officially decided to postpone the 2020 NLG Annual Testimonial Dinner. We support measures to reduce transmission of the CoronaVirus and support the health of the most vulnerable to its impacts.

We intend to reschedule for later in the year and will do so once we have more information over the next several weeks and months. In the meantime, we are holding your tickets.

The journal with ads to celebrate our honorees will be printed closer to the time of the rescheduled dinner. In the meantime, please email us at if you wish to place an ad but did not have time to do so previously.

Please take good care of yourselves and support efforts to reduce transmission of the virus. Here is a site with more information on how to do so.

Accessibility Info:

The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is a 5-10 minute walk from the Powell Street BART Station. Street parking available but extremely limited. There are three parking garages a block away from YBCA: YBCA Parking Garage (5th & Mission) , Stevenson Parking Garage (Stevenson & 3rd), SF MOMA Parking Garage (Minna St).

All YBCA public entrances are accessible. At the Gallery Forum Building, both the 701 Mission St and Garden Esplanade entrances have ramps and electric push-button doors. Elevators service both buildings.

For more than 80 years, the National Lawyers Guild has organized legal workers, law students and attorneys to support social justice movements. The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter is the largest National Lawyers Guild chapter in the country and has played a significant role in providing legal support to activists and community organizers fighting for racial and economic justice in the Bay Area. Its annual Testimonial Dinner honors members and allies who are driven by the same values of equity and justice that guide NLGSF’s work.

This is a partially seated event with enough to seat up 220 people on a first come first serve basis. The only tables that are reserved are for our honorees and those with access needs. There are also cocktail tables.

Registration Information

Registration Prices
General: $165
Law student &  legal worker (non-attorney): $75
Low income: $50 (in limited quantities)

Register here

Door prices
General: $170
Law student & legal worker (non-attorney): $80

Journal Ad Space

Hundreds of progressive and radical legal workers, lawyers, and law students will gather at our Chapter’s largest fundraising event of the year. Folks will join in for food, drinks, and celebrating our honorees.

If you would like your organization or business showcased in our program booklet buy an ad here.

Congratulations to our 2020 Honorees:

Dennis Riordan
Champion of Justice

For more than four decades, Dennis P. Riordan, long time NLG member and one of the premier appellate litigators in the United States, has worked to free defendants convicted in cases with political significance.

After he first came to California in 1975, Dennis assisted in the trial defense of Johnny Spain, a member of the San Quentin Six facing the death penalty for allegedly participating in an attempted escape from San Quentin Prison that left famed prison author George Jackson dead. Dennis then waged a thirteen-year battle through state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, eventually leading to Spain’s release in 1988.

In the years since then Dennis successfully represented a member of the air traffickers’ union charged criminally in federal court with helping lead the union’s nation wide strike, religious workers charged with assisting refugees fleeing wars in Central America, and a member of the West Memphis Three, indigent teenagers falsely accused of murder in Tennessee.

In recent years Dennis took on the post-trial representation of Hamid Hayat, a young Muslim sentenced to 24 years in prison on a spurious accusation that he had attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. Under Dennis’ leadership, after a thirteen year struggle, a sterling team of volunteer lawyers won a habeas corpus judgment vacating Hamid’s convictions, leading to his release from federal custody on August 9th of this year.

Dennis personifies the understanding that a commitment to social justice, thorough knowledge and creative use of the law, collective action and persistence will make a concrete difference in the lives of people who are persecuted and vilified. The NLG is proud to award him its 2020 Champion of Justice Award.

Liz Jackson
Unsung Hero

Liz Jackson is a founding senior staff attorney for Palestine Legal. Her work focuses on growing the field of movement lawyers to support activists organizing for Palestinian freedom, and related justice movements. She defends the right to boycott, bolsters the free speech rights of students, professors and activists, documents the chilling effects of repression campaigns, and creates ways for lawyers to strengthen movements for liberation.

Liz has advised successful divestment campaigns at universities across the country, and helped students and professors defeat legal complaints and disciplinary charges seeking to punish their advocacy for Palestinian rights.

She has organized for Palestinian human rights as a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, as a Jewish solidarity activist, and as a former Co-Chair of the National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee. NLG has been a personal and political home for Liz. It has also been a foundation for building Palestine Legal where we found essential mentors, collaborators and movement lawyering models.

Liz is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley School of Law and Brown University. Before joining Palestine Legal, she worked as an associate at the San Francisco labor firm Davis, Cowell and Bowe, LLP, arbitrating workplace grievances. Prior to law school, Liz organized with immigrant communities in Massachusetts to build power.

Partner in Liberation

Founded in 2018 in Oakland, California, GABRIELA Oakland is a progressive grassroots Filipino women’s organization that wages struggle for the liberation of Filipino women and all oppressed people from the Bay Area to the Philippines. It is part of GABRIELA USA, the first overseas chapter of the GABRIELA National Alliance of Women, a grassroots alliance of more than 200 organizations, institutions, desks and programs of women all over the Philippines who vigorously campaign on women-specific issues such as women’s rights, gender discrimination, violence against women and women’s health and reproductive rights as well as international economic and political issues that affect women.

…and keynote speaker:

Congressmember Rashida Tlaib

The Michigan representative, the first Palestinian-American in Congress and one of the progressive freshman members of “the Squad,” has been at the forefront of challenging the Trump presidency and reinvigorating the left-wing flank of the Democratic Party. Congressmember Tlaib is also a former attorney with Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, an affiliate of the National Lawyers Guild.